Lehigh Lands Two High-Profile Canadians
from press release
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Over the last decade the number of Canadians playing in the NCAA has gone from just over 20 players in 2000, to more than 200 expected to play in 2011. The success of Canadian players during that decade has been undeniable.
Last year alone at the Division I level, two of the top five point leaders were Canadian, as were seven of the top 15 goal scorers. College coaches from across the country are constantly searching for that next great Canadian talent and for the coaching staff at Lehigh University, tapping into the Canadian talent pool was a major priority. With former Team Canada player and recent Team Canada assistant coach, Taylor Wray acting as recruiting coordinator, it was only a matter of time before the Canadian influence made its way to Bethlehem, Pa.
With the signing of Patrick Corbett (The Hill Academy/Edge Lacrosse , Ontario) and Dan Taylor (Central Memorial HS/Elev8 Lacrosse, Alberta) to National Letters of Intent, Lehigh has grabbed two of Canada's best young players. Recently ranked No. 5 and 6 in JP Donville's article Canada Rising <http://lacrosseinsidethegame.com/2010/10/07/canada-rising/> , a summary of the top prospects in Canada's 2011 recruiting class, Corbett and Taylor are expected to make an immediate impact for Lehigh.
As the first Canadian players in program history, the Lehigh coaching staff was thrilled to land two such high profile players. Hailing from Burlington, Ontario and Calgary, Alberta (the equivalent distance from Pennsylvania to Montana), Corbett and Taylor will meet for the first time next fall for the Mountain Hawks.
"We couldn't be more excited about signing Patrick and Dan," said Lehigh head coach Kevin Cassese. "They are two of the top players coming out of Canada, from two of the top high school programs in the country. With the high level of coaching they receive back home, we know both Patrick and Dan will be more than ready to take on the challenges associated with making the jump from high school to the Division I level."
Corbett is currently enrolled as a post-graduate student at the Hill Academy, a private school for student-athletes, just outside of Toronto. The lacrosse program at "The Hill" is run by two of the greatest players to ever come out come out of Canada - former Georgetown University great Brodie Merrill (Program Director) and former University of Albany star Merrick Thomson (Post Graduate Director).
At the Hill Academy, student-athletes take part in sport specific training or strength and conditioning each day as part of their regular high school curriculum. Corbett has also been a standout in Canada's powerhouse Edge Lacrosse program for years and is a highly touted box (indoor) player for the Burlington's Junior A (U21) Chiefs.
"Patrick will come into Lehigh and should make an instant impact on the field," said Coach Thomson. "He made a great decision to join the Hill Academy and become a part of our first ever PG Program. His dedication this year on the field and in the weight room will give him a great advantage over most freshmen. He will be a year older, have played against high level competition, and will know what it takes to succeed at the college level.
"His game is comparable to the likes of Stephen Peyser where he can win games for his team by controlling the faceoff, but also being able to create on the offensive end and play strong defense," continued Thomson. "There are not many players who can play in all aspects of the game and I am confident Patrick will help Lehigh reach the next level."
Taylor is a member the Elev8 lacrosse program, an elite travel and training program created by Denver University All-American and Team Canada member Geoff Snider. He was recently named to the All-Star Team at Canada's U-19 Championships this fall and is a member of Calgary's Junior A (U21) Mountaineers. Last season, as a first year player, Dan finished second in league scoring.
"In the past thirteen months Dan Taylor has elevated his game to a level where he is making the players around him better," said Snider, the Elev8 Lacrosse Director. "He plays a very educated and patient style of field lacrosse, and at any time can be as explosive as anyone on the field. Dan has played two seasons with the Elev8 Elite team, and in that time has become one of the top recruits in North America.
"With the right combination of coaching and exposure, Dan was able to make a serious push to become a top NCAA recruit, and we are very pleased that he has found a home at Lehigh," continued Snider. "The program at Lehigh is certainly on the rise, and Dan will be an instrumental part in furthering their success. With guidance, leadership, and coaching from the Lehigh staff, Dan has the potential to be an All-America caliber player."
Corbett and Taylor will meet for the first time next fall, but they already have a lot in common. Playing box and field lacrosse at an elite level in Canada and participating in specialized lacrosse training programs, both Dan and Patrick are poised to make a quick transition to the DI game.